Thursday, 3 January 2019

An experiment: self-trimming hooves on a horse not in work

First of all, Happy New Year and I hope that 2019 is a kind one to us all.

I'm now back from an incredible trip to New Zealand and although I am missing the summer sunshine and the wonderful people it is fantastic to be back home.

While I've been away there have been no rehab horses here and our own horses have had a holiday - free access to the fields and the tracks and no work at all.

One of the questions I am most often asked about self-trimming hooves is how horses cope if they are not in work - its a common assumption that self-trimming is only feasible when horses are doing significant road mileage each week.

Well, I must admit I have never tried giving our horses quite as much time off as they have had this year and I thought you might be as interested as I am to see how the feet have managed.
I never trust photos to give a true picture of hoof health so I will add straightway that his landings are still good - heel first and with good media-lateral balance. I don't think I have ever seen him so hairy but I rather like the teddy bear look for a change!
The hoof wall is a little longer than when he is doing high mileage on roads but the white line is tight and the frog and heels are solid and in great condition.
Despite the fluff still a beefy digital cushion. For reference, this horse has not been trimmed for 10 years and has been out of work for 3 months.
 I can't abide the feather (ack!)  - that may have to go fairly soon...
As with the LF, basically fine and ready to do more or stay the same, whichever is an option.


Christine said...

Very interesting thank you. I am taking my TB’s shoes off again on Monday. He was previously bf for 3 years and successfully self trimmed during most of that time. My question is this: when the shoes come off , is it better to leave his feet alone or should he have his feet trimmed at that point before allowing him to then self trim. His shoes were already removed the last time I transitioned him so didn’t have this dilemma! TIA

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing. I've been wondering about this recently.

NicoleJ said...
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NicoleJ said...
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NicoleJ said...

When I was a trimmer and I was transitioning a horse I always did very little to a horse fresh out of shoes because there is usually much less callus and strength over all so they need all the support they can get, and let their feet break off what they dont need and keep what they do while they heal